Museum of paleontology

Type: festival pavilion

Location: Orenburg Obl., Russia
Area: 440 m2
Year: 2020

A project of redevelopment water tower to a private paleontological museum and a local public space. The exhibited collection consists of paleontological finds made at a local limestone quarry.

The tower is located on the outskirts of the city, in a private sector in an undeveloped area. The project proposes the construction of a small public garden in front of the tower. Its purpose is to meet and guide museum guests.

The internal volume of the tower is not large but has its aesthetic beauty. The reservoir that once held water is a concrete cylinder that rests on an openwork concrete vault, which is visible in the interior. To maintain this quality of space, the evacuation staircase is placed in a separate external volume and located behind the tower. This is how a three-part composition arises: public garden – tower – staircase.

A self-supporting structure arises inside the tower volume. It organizes the space of the first floor, forms a bypass gallery for permanent or temporary exhibitions on the second floor, and houses a restroom and a heating unit with a storage room. The first floor of the museum tower is organized according to the open space principle and serves as both an exhibition space and a public center. Its area can be used to expand the permanent exhibition or to hold a separate exhibition, film show, lecture, public discussion, or other event. A collection of fossilized ammonites, trilobites, brachiopods, and fish teeth is on display on the third floor in the concrete space of a former tank.

Magnifying glasses are used to demonstrate small exhibits and to emphasize relief and texture. All artificial lights are directed at the exhibits. Natural light enters the hall through narrow openings cut into the concrete cylinder. So the interior echoes the ancient sea, the depths of which were illuminated by rare sunlight breaking through the water column.

Axonometric view:
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